There are many benefits to developing healthy relationships at home, school and in the community. 

Eric Herman, MA, LLP, provides the following Q&A that offers practical tips to achieve success.  

What are some practical tips on how individuals can develop healthy relationships at home, school and in the community? 

Parents are the model for their children as to how to relate or have a relationship with the world. For good or bad, what a child learns or does not learn at home, will have a significant impact on his or her ability to have healthy, effective and satisfying relationships with others.

A psychologically healthy parent can teach children the basic building blocks of good, healthy relationships.

Some of the fundamentals include: how to communicate effectively, being empathic, conflict resolution, having personal boundaries, and how to have self respect, while respecting others. 

How does this ultimately help the individual?  

The ability to have healthy relationships is inseparable from the definition of what being successful means. Where you find one, you will find the other. The world is by nature a social place and we are also by nature social beings. The ability to establish and sustain, good relationships, is vital to our well being, happiness and for that matter our very survival. Loving, positive relationships make life (which can be difficult even in the best of circumstances,) more meaningful and fulfilling.

Our relationships with family, friends, and others provide us opportunities to grow. It’s through our relationships that we learn to become better people. Good relationships help support us and can provide us with motivation to face the many challenges throughout the course of our lives.

How can we turn unhealthy relationships into healthy ones? 

It is through realizing that there are problems in our relationships and being willing to work through the difficulties that our relationships get healthier and can actually grow. In other words, no experience is wasted, if we learn from it. We can appreciate what a healthy relationship is, through our experience of what it is not.

If you are willing to admit that there are some problems in your relationships and take responsibility for your part of the trouble, things can change. We don’t have to wait around for others to change for things to get better. If you get healthier, it makes things healthier for all of those around you.

Parents need to be leaders within the family and should lead by example.

Eric Herman, MA, LLP, clinical psychologist at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, a nationally recognized pediatric hospital.  

For further information on DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, please visit